Anti-Semitism in Ireland linked to political beliefs – claim

Anti-Semitism in Ireland linked to political beliefs – claim

Instances of anti-Semitism in Ireland are often linked to political beliefs relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict, according to the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland (JRCI).

This has led to young people hiding their Judaism, and causes Jewish students not to engage in discussions about the conflict according to Maurice Cohen, chairperson of the JRCI.

“I do not believe that the Israeli/Palestinian situation has given rise to any great amount of overt anti-Semitism. However the small instances do increase during times of conflict,” said Mr Cohen. “There are times when some Irish Jewish people would be conscious of not being overt about their Judaism, for example wearing the Kippah (skullcap) in public.


“This is more prominent in younger people who do not want to attract the generally obsessive nature of anti-Israel demonisation which goes on in Ireland.”

This comes as a survey conducted by YouGov for the British group Campaign Against anti-Semitism (CAP) last week found that over 80% of Jewish adults in Britain agreed with the statement: “Media bias against Israel fuels persecution of Jews in Britain.”

Mr Cohen says that he has heard politicians in Ireland use terms he would deem anti-Semitic on public radio, with one councillor saying that Israel was “crucifying” Palestine, a term he said was “made out of total ignorance and demonstrates an underlying anti-Semitism”.

The Palestinian flag was raised over Dublin City Hall for the month of May, following a motion stating it was “a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights and with the over seven million displaced Palestinians denied the right of return to their homeland”.


Dublin City Councillor John Lyons, who tabled the motion, said that any criticisms of the State of Israel were “directed solely at the political policies and decisions” made by the government.